I have two new illustrations on the go at the moment and they are the two that have me the most excited. Something seemed to click during the process with these ones.
Working at something that satisfies you is a great feeling. (Yes, this is work. Anyone who doesn’t think being artistic is of any value can F right the F off.) Anyway, it’s fantastic to look forward to a project. It feels good to improve and discover different ways of doing things. For years I have second-guessed myself and attempted to change my style, but I have just recently come to accept it. Fuck it. I am who I am. I’m now at ease with letting it flow and trying new things that I see as inspiration to twist my own ideas. These two new illustrations aren’t anything radically different than usual, but there is something a bit more aggressive about them. I’m optimistic about where this trend might take me.
(Brotherly note to Kris if you happen to be reading this: Take no offense! It’s all good!)
Brother Kris came over the other night to drop off some new shirts he’d just printed and I excitedly invited him in to take a preview of the two new illustrations. As he stepped into the room, I opened the ice racer pic (character ice racing a dirt bike), expecting an enthusiastic “fuck yeah” or similar exclamation. Silence. (Hmm, does he not see it yet?) I shifted my body to the side to make sure the monitor was in full view. A couple seconds pass. (Huh. Maybe he’s tired. I’ll let it ride for another sec.) Another second. (Shit. What? What’s screwed up on it?) Before any more awkward silence could pass, I leaned over and flicked open the skier pic (character skiing), to which he immediately said, “Oh yeah! That skier is cool.” Ha! Bastard! A direct comment towards the skier and not the ice racer!
You must know what’s coming next, right? You must. It’s obviously gonna get awkward again when the focus is turned back to the subject that resulted in silence. It’s the mildly awkward feeling when you know the other person has a beef with what you have presented and now you’re going to have to compromise. You know you’re in for some bullshit about something not quite looking right, so you’re going to have to go back and change it. You’re going to have to swallow your pride, take a punch to the balls, and change shit that you didn’t think needed change. Fuck around! “Yyyyyeah. So. Uhhh, the ice racer,” he begins. Yup! As predicted, back to the ice racer. What is it, guy? What’s he got in mind for me to fool around with this time? What sort of graphic fuckery must I now play around with? “The foot. There’s something a bit fucked with the foot. Maybe you can make the toe pointed so it’s facing up. Now it looks like he’s dragging his foot, you know?” Shit! Shit! I suck!
After making a copy of the ice racer, I started the surgical procedure of proper foot alignment. Now that it’s done, I can see the difference. Kris was right. I knew it all along. I knew it, but I was hesitant to admit it. Sometimes being really into something can make you blind to quirks. But it’s all good now. All good. All good except now that I look at it again, maybe I can change the body angle a bit. Hmm.
Below: The original.
Below: Post surgery foot position